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Happy new era

Happy new era

Happy new era

We've made it to the end of the year! While I'm sure the plight of your tireless channel journalists is the last thing on your mind, this issue caps off an extremely busy but successful year for us as a publication.

But it would also be fair to say it has been a tumultuous year for the channel.

Beyond the channel's day-to-day machinations, its progress has reflected the changes occurring in the IT industry as a whole.

The last 10 years in particular have seen IT grow to the extent that no business, government, or institution can survive without it.

You will notice in the pages this week that much space has been devoted to 1999 retrospectives.

If I had to nominate the most significant developments in the channel I would not actually name an IT product or service. To me, the most significant development has been our thinking. The role of technology itself is king. As a result, vendors have risen to assume a self-importance that I doubt you will find in too many other industries.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of technology and the amazing people who push new technical boundaries.

But the era of change I can see is one where the development of technology finally starts to reflect the real needs of your customers.

Creating the impression, that a user needs a product is the trick of a successful marketing campaign. The real question is how many vendors actually stop to seriously consider what your customers need in the first place? And more to the point, how many of them regularly ask the channel what the customer wants?

From the channel's perspective, the greatest change in thinking to occur in recent years has obviously been to recognise that customers want service and support, not just product sales.

As a result, 2000 will be an exciting year for the channel as new opportunities and technologies push the boundaries of how we conduct business in an online-centric world.

Expect to see some changes to the way ARN communicates with the channel next year too as we continue to build more value into arn.idg.com.au and the newspaper.

Meanwhile, if you will pardon the plug, Inform's research, reported in this issue (page 12), was a good Christmas present for us.

In addition, members of our team picked up more awards last week.

Tom Allen and Greg Canfell won the `best headline' award at Sydney's ANA Hotel last Wednesday night for the story `Sausage to can unsolicited spam' (September 8, page 12). ARN's Alan Hartstein was the other nomination in the category.

Meanwhile, our former editor Phil Sim picked up the gong for `most entertaining writer' for his article `Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' (November 15, 1998, page 78). Our fearless columnist Matthew JC. Powell was the other nomination.

Stay in touch

ARN will be back in print with the January 19th edition, while ARN Daily and ARN LiveWire will continue until before Christmas and resume again in the new year.

So on behalf of a buoyant ARN team, I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year's Eve - don't let the Y2K bug bite. In fact, we will tap into IDG Australia's online news service, The Wire, and our international news feed to bring you special Y2K reports on NYE and January 1, so keep logging on to our site (if your PC works!) and check it out.

Mark Jones is editor of Australian Reseller News. Reach him at mark_jones@idg.com.au


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